How to monetize a blog with affiliate marketing

The primary and one of the easiest methods to make money blogging is via affiliate marketing. 

Globally, 85% of consumers turn to Google for information regarding a product they want to purchase. 

This means, 85% of consumers want to read a blog post that covers the product/ service before making their purchase. 

And, it’s only better if there’s a link to the product/ service within the blog post. 

And if they click on that link and make a purchase, they can get a referral. Does that sound interesting? 

This article will cover in depth how you can make money blogging via affiliate marketing. Keep reading.

How to make money blogging with affiliate marketing

How much can you make with affiliate marketing?

What you make with a blog via affiliate marketing varies significantly. Just look at the numbers below obtained from several case studies.

Create and Go$ 3,450 in 3 months
Online Media Masters$150,000/ yr
Bloggers Passion$16,433/ yr
One of Jon D’s blogs$ 2,000/ month
10Beasts$ 4,732/ month
Mike @ Stupid Simple SEO$95,134/ yr

Some make $2,000 and others make over $10,000 per month. 

So, how much you make with affiliate marketing depends on the effort you put into building a great blog and monetizing it correctly. 

You can make $0 – 150,000+ per year with a blog that is monetized with affiliate marketing.

The Affiliate marketing process for bloggers

First, let’s begin with the process of affiliate marketing on your blog posts. 

Imagine you’ve found the perfect product or service you want to promote. Here are the steps

Sign up for an affiliate program

Most products and services have an affiliate program you can sign up for. 

Go on to their site, head over to the footer [The end of the page], and check out the links. 

Look for links like “Affiliate program”, “Affiliates”, etc. Click on them. You will then be able to sign up for their affiliate program.

Get a unique link from them

Once you signed up, their platform will provide you with a unique link. 

Clicking on that unique link will take any user to the product/ service page where they can make the purchase. 

But, to make sure that their program knows it was your links, the link has a unique ID attached to ID. 

That is your ID. So, the affiliate program can tell who would get the commission.

Get people to click on that link and make a purchase through them

Once you have the unique link, simply start placing it within your blog posts. Place it behind the anchor text. 

An anchor text is text that represents the link. 

So, instead of users seeing the link itself, they’ll see the anchor text that they can click on. Learn more about anchor text here.

Finding affiliate products for your blog posts

Find a product in your niche

There are two ways to find a product in your niche. Direct search or through an affiliate program marketplace.

Find a product through direct search

In the direct search approach, take all your blog post topics, and search them on Google. The results will have endless articles. 

Go through these articles, and search for links. These links can be internal, external, or affiliate links. 

You’ll know if it’s an affiliate link if you see a unique user ID/ tag at the end of the URL. 

These affiliate links will be promoting a product or service within your niche. 

Add that to a list [Create an excel sheet to keep track of the different products]. 

Once you have a decent list [A good start would be roughly 5 – 20 products]. 

You can start directly accessing the product’s website, go into their footer, find the affiliate’s link, and sign up.

Find a product through an affiliate program marketplace

The other option is to sign up for an affiliate program marketplace. 

These are platforms that display thousands of affiliate programs in one place, to make it easy for you to get access through. 

So, you won’t have to go through the work of searching and signing up for each product one by one. 

But, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. It’s a difficult process to sign up and get verified. And even then, you don’t get access to all affiliate programs just like that. 

You need to still apply to each one separately [Click a few buttons] to get permission from the program itself.

Here’s a list of affiliate program marketplaces you can check out: 

Why you must stick to products in your niche?

Your blog will be focused on a certain niche. So, the products and services you promote also need to be a part of that niche. 

Remember, the purpose of your blog is to depict your expertise on that topic. That expertise gives you credibility and trust. 

Which enables you to promote products relating to that topic. But if you’re a blog on cars, and try selling ice cream, it won’t work out. 

So search for products in your niche.

Only do affiliate marketing for good products

This is a no brainer. But, take the following steps to ensure you’re promoting a good product. 

First off, in terms of promoting any product or service, Google wants you to only promote ones that you’ve used previously

They want to see a personal experience, images, etc. But, in reality, that doesn’t happen. 

Everyone promotes whatever they want. Though if you want to promote a product/ service, you want to make sure it’s good quality, reliable, and provides the intended value. 

If it’s bad, people will lose their trust in you, which would lead to your business’s downfall. Here are 2 main checks you should take.

Do product research

Go onto Google, and search up “ “Product Name” review”. You’ll find several sites, blogs, and people who’ve reviewed the product. 

Some will even have first hand experience. Repeat this process on social media [LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook]. 

Find out the pros and cons of the product. You can even gather research to create your own product review post on it [Where you can promote the product].

Check their refund policy

Trustworthy products and services are always backed up by a minimum 30 day return policy. 

If they don’t have one, you definitely shouldn’t promote them. 

Imagine they turn out to be a scam, and one of your readers buys through them, and can’t get their money back. 

You may not be at fault legally, but you’ll still feel like a douchebag. So, avoid products or services without a 30 day money back.

Use the Affiliates’ provided resources

Here are a few resources that an affiliate program may provide to you:

  • Banners/ Sidebar graphics
  • Sample email/ webpage copy

It’s always a good idea to check these out. Because most often, these resources have gotten results before. 

You don’t have to just copypaste them right onto your blog. 

Instead, you can use them as a foundation to create something unique [So you don’t use the same resources that 1000s of other affiliate marketers are using].

Incorporating affiliate marketing into blog posts

In this section, you’ll learn how to actually incorporate affiliate marketing into blogging. 

Create a resource page on your blog

Firstly, create a page, where you have all your affiliate products [And links to them]. Make it visually attractive. 

Having such a page makes it easy for your readers to know the different products you promote. 

Plus, you can have links to internal pages that send readers to product specific review posts or info articles. 

It’s a great way to keep readers on the blog as well as get them to convert to products they may not initially be searching for.

Create a separate page for the product/ service

If you’re promoting any product or service, have an entire blog post only for it. 

Where you go IN depth about the pros and cons, review, and other multimedia that will help readers decide. 

Logically, that increases conversion rates. And, it builds your credibility and trust in the reader’s eyes. 

The general blogger won’t go to the heights of creating an entire blog post on a single product. 

And rather, they’ll simply write small portions and slide them within posts. 

Which won’t be too helpful for readers to determine whether the product is a good idea. 

And they’ll anyways end up searching on Google for a review on it. 

So, instead of them going on a different blog, might as well you write an article that will answer their questions and dissolve their concerns.

Include supportive multimedia [Necessary]

When creating pages for a product or service, it’s not enough to just have text content. 

Visuals, audio, and video form content has started to dominate the online world. 

Keep in mind, the video based platform, Youtube, is the world’s second largest search engine

With 2.1 billion people using it daily. Not to mention, social media has become a part of everyone’s life. 

And social media contains all sorts of multimedia. 

In today’s day and age, when users are deciding on a purchase, they look for more than just a text based review. 

They want a video where the product or service is used and reviewed, visuals that talk about the specs, and customer reviews [In text, video and audio format]. 

So, take the time to provide all sorts of supporting multimedia when marketing a product.

Sneak the affiliate links into blog posts

This step is far easier if you have a product page [Mentioned above]. 

So, instead of placing your affiliate link, you can simply link to the product page, which will have the affiliate link. 

Plus, it’ll increase CTR [Click through rate] on your links. Now, where should you place your affiliate links in a blog post? 

Firstly, never have affiliate links in the first few 100 words of your post. 

Because you don’t want readers to click and leave immediately [That increases your bounce rate]. 

Within the body and end of the post is a good place to have them. 

Secondly, you want to only place them in if it’s relevant to a specific section. 

For example, you have an affiliate link to Grammarly [A grammar improvement tool]. And you’re writing an article on “How to edit your documents”. 

You will most likely have a section where you speak of tools that can make editing easy. That’s where you introduce Grammarly. 

And give them a bit of information on the product. Then, you should have a link to it. This is a natural way to have affiliate links in a blog post. 

Here’s a procedure you can remember:

  1. Relate the product to the specific topic [Where you’re trying to insert the link]
  2. Introduce the product
  3. Give some background information about [A brief look at the benefits, and how it would help the user]
  4. Have a link [Either an affiliate link or to the page where you provide an IN depth review of the product]

Have an affiliate disclaimer

According to the FTC, you must inform your readers that your blog posts have an affiliate link and that you will earn commissions if they purchase through your links. 

It is best to have a disclosure at the beginning of your blog posts. Here is an example of an affiliate disclosure:

Example of an affiliate disclaimer
Example of an affiliate disclaimer

Affiliate marketing with helpful blog posts

Here are a few ways you can do affiliate marketing whilst helping the readers get informed on the product/ service & make a decision:

  1. Have a step by step checklist on how to use the product/ service
  2. Have quick start guides on it
  3. Have video overviews or demos
  4. Provide discounts or offers as an incentive

Affiliate marketing key concepts

Once you start affiliate marketing on your blog, start considering the following two concepts, that determine how much you make: 

The commission rates, and cookie durations. 

Affiliate commission rates matter when blogging

An affiliate commission rate is the percentage of the purchase value that you’ll get in commission. 

Often, it’s a set amount [instead of a percent]. Simply put, this is the amount you’ll make for each person that purchases through your link. 

You also want to consider the difficulty of selling that product/ service. 

The difficulty depends on the price, popularity, need, value exchange, etc. 

For example, affiliate marketing a product from Amazon will have a high conversion rate. 

This means people won’t hesitate much when making a purchase. Because Amazon is a trusted platform. 

But, your commission rates are less than 5%. So, if you sell a $20 product, you’ll make $1. 

Unless your site brings in 100,000+ monthly traffic, you won’t make much. Another example is Bluehost. 

Their commission rates are $65 for each qualified sigh up. Which is quite high. But, the conversion rate will be far less. 

This means far fewer people will be actually making a purchase for web hosting [Compared to purchasing a product on Amazon]. 

Keep this in mind, when becoming an affiliate for a product/ service.

Cookies & affiliate marketing

Cookies are bits of information that relate to each user. In affiliate marketing, if a user clicks through your link, and makes a purchase, you get the commission. 

But, suppose, they click through the link but don’t make a purchase. However, they come back a month later and purchase it. 

Shouldn’t you still get a referral for that? Yes. And that’s where cookies come into play. 

Because of the cookie, the affiliate platform will still give you the referral. 

If the reader clicks your affiliate link on their computer and then goes back to the site on their phone and makes a purchase, they won’t get the referral. 

If the reader returns to the same site a month later on the same computer and browser, you will get the referral. 

But, with the 2018 update, readers now have to accept the use of cookies before a cookie is used. 

And that has affected affiliate marketing negatively. Here’s an IN depth look at how the update to third party cookies will affect affiliate marketing.

Types of affiliate products to make money with on your blog

Books or EBooksDigital Downloads
Mobile applications
Music, movies, TV shows, and more
Designers Professional Services
Media or creative businesses
Content marketing services
Masterminds and membership sites
Research or consulting services
Accounting, finance, or legal advice
Niche specialties
Website platforms (Wix, Squarespace)Online/ hosted services
Lead generation services (Thrive, Elementor [affiliate link])
Email service providers (AWeber, Constant Contact, ConvertKit [affiliate link])
Website services (e.g., hosting, anti-spam, security, etc.)
Media (Wistia, Vimeo, Telestream, various WordPress plugins)
Course platforms (Zippy Courses, Ruzuku, Teachable)
Virtual Assistant or customer service support (Zendesk Partners program, VA Affiliates, TempsASAP)
IT support, cloud-based storage, backup, security or other technical services based on monthly subscriptions
Online Courses